Project to Prevent Child Labor in Home-Based Carpet Production in Afghanistan
This project aims to reduce the worst forms of child labor in the home-based production of carpets in Afghanistan by designing and piloting a sustainable social compliance system in collaboration with at least one carpet company.
The weaving of carpets is often performed by women and children in the home and reports indicate that two out of three carpet weavers in Afghanistan are children. Amongst child workers in this sector, the majority are girls. Children often work in the carpet sector in contravention of Afghanistan’s law. Children working in the carpet sector reportedly start at very young ages, sometimes as young as six or seven years old, and can work up to 12 hours per day. They suffer from a number of poor working conditions including exposure to dust from the wool and noxious fumes resulting in respiratory diseases. While there is no Afghanistan-specific research on the topic, research on carpet production from other countries indicates that children working to produce hand-woven carpets suffer from physical ailments due to the repetitive motions of weaving.
This project aims to reduce the worst forms of child labor in the home-based production of carpets in Afghanistan by designing and piloting a sustainable social compliance system in collaboration with at least one carpet company. This system will include licensing and inspecting carpet producers’ home-based looms to verify compliance with not using child labor; creating direct market linkages to consumers and retailers for child labor-free Afghan carpets; conducting research on the nature of child labor in home-based carpet weaving and the carpet supply chain; engaging industry and government stakeholders to build broad support for and sustainability of project impact; and providing services to children and adults engaged in or at risk of exploitative labor in this sector.
As of September 30, 2017, GoodWeave had licensing agreements with 2 carpet exporters and had provided 1,278 children and 52 families with education and services. In 2016, GoodWeave played a key role in producing a policy paper and action plan commissioned by the Afghan President on how to reduce child labor in carpet production.